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Ditch the screens and grab your teammates – it’s time to put your acting skills to the test with Charades! In this classic game, be prepared for some good laughs when you watch your friends – or yourself – attempt to act out imaginary scenarios.

And who says you can only have fun on special occasions or game nights? Play this game with friends, family, or coworkers to bring extra excitement into your everyday activities. Keep reading to learn all the tips and tricks you need to improve your Charades experience!

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How To Play Charades

Playing Charades is easy and doesn’t require a particular skill set level! If you need a quick recap, here’s all you need to know.

To start, create a list of words for each round. Write these words on slips of paper and place them into a bowl or hat. Then, determine who will take the first turn.

In a game of Charades, your goal is to guess the word or phrase written on the piece of paper that your teammate is acting out. You have a set time limit, usually 1-3 minutes. The catch is, the person doing the acting can’t make any noise. They also can’t point or spell the word.

The first person to correctly guess the word or phrase earns a point!

How To Play Charades with Teams

Playing charades with teams is a great way to get everyone involved in the game. If you want to play the game this way, follow these steps:

1. Divide players into teams

To make your charades night even more exciting, split the players into teams who play against each other. The objective is the same — get your teammates to guess the answer using only gestures. Whoever reaches a certain amount of points first wins!

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Competing in teams adds to the fun, as the players can develop strategies to help the person act out the word or phrase.

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2. Decide on categories

Here are some category ideas to pick your words from. Pick words or phrases from a few categories and provide the category to your teammates before the clock starts:

  • Animals
  • Activities
  • Things
  • Movies
  • Musical instruments
  • TV shows
  • Song titles
  • Book titles

Long sentences and foreign phrases are usually not allowed. When in doubt, ask your teammates.

3. Fold the paper slips and put them in a box

Fold each sheet of paper so that the word or phrase is hidden. Put these slips in a box. Give the opposing team the container with words or phrases and get theirs.

Usually, you can use a basket as a container, but you can also use an empty glass or a hat. Just make sure the opposing team can’t read the slips.

4. Select a starting team and set a time limit

Flip a coin to determine which team goes first. Set a time limit, depending on how confident you are. We usually use a 2-minute time limit, but you can adjust it to suit your needs.

📖 Suggested read: Best Animal Charades Ideas For Your Party

If the team can guess the word or phrase within the time limit, the team scores a point. But if the time runs out, they get no points. After one team guesses right or the time runs out, it’s the other team’s turn to play.

How To Play Charades with Kids

Charades is a game for all ages, so you can play with the kids too! Pick words or phrases related to their interests to make it easier for them to understand.

For example: If the players like animals, use funny animal phrases; if they prefer cartoons, pick words or phrases related to those shows.

Also, adjust the time limit accordingly — if you’re playing with younger kids, give them more time to guess the word or phrase. You can also have them work in pairs, where one acts and the other guesses, or hold mini charades games or tournaments to add more fun!

How To Play Charades for Adults

Adult players can use more complicated words, phrases, or even abstract ideas. Include sports themes, literature references, popular books, business-related words, and film titles to make it more interesting.

📖 Suggested read: Everything You Need to Know About the Paranoia Game

You could even add a drinking theme to the game — make every incorrect guess cost you a sip of your drink. You can also have a penalty for wrong guesses — the person who guessed incorrectly will have to do a silly task or action.

Best Charades Word Generator

Charades is all about creativity, imagination, and fast thinking. If you’re stuck and require some fresh ideas for your charades words or phrases, use our free charades word generator!

Download our free Charades App “Kabuki” from your preferred App store to help you generate random words or phrases for your game:

Don’t want to download anything? Try our free Charades web app:

Play Charades online

👉 If you’re still struggling to come up with words or phrases, head over to our collection with 1000+ fun charades ideas!

Additional Charades Rules

You can create additional rules to make your charades night even more challenging! Implementing these rules can make the game can add a lot more fun:

1. Rule: Include idioms or proverbs

This one is more suitable for adults. Idioms and proverbs can be used because they are short and exciting, so you don’t have to worry about the time limit.

If you’re playing with kids, pick age-appropriate idioms or proverbs.

2. Rule: Choose two actors instead of one

This rule can be used when playing with adults or kids. Instead of choosing one actor, choose two — each will act out a different word or phrase as a team.

This can be more challenging and chaotic as you try to guess two words or phrases simultaneously. But that’s what makes it fun!

3. Rule: Make it a competition

If you have a larger group, make it into a tournament! You can have prizes for the winning teams or players.

This adds pressure to the game, as you have to score more points than your opponents. It also adds excitement and makes it more intense — but all in a good way.

4. Rule: Allow actors to nod or shake their head

This rule makes the game more creative. The actors can nod or shake their heads when an answer is close to the correct answer, which adds a hint for guessing.

You can add this rule if you’re guessing more complex words or phrases — it makes the game more exciting while streamlining the guessing process.

Fun Games Like Charades

Sometimes, you can’t just get enough of Charades. And we get it! We’ve rounded up some similar games you and your friends can play.

1. Reverse Charades

Reverse Charades is like regular charades — except all players act out the clue at the same time instead of one person. This game is ideal if you’re trying to make the original game more chaotic and competitive!

Why we love it

What makes this game unique is that you need to act out the clue as a team. This encourages collaboration and communication, making it great for team-building activities.

It’s also a great way to break the ice, as it encourages everyone to get involved and takes away the pressure of solo performances. It’s hilarious, chaotic, and fun for larger groups!

Because it’s so accessible, you can play Reverse Charades with adults, teens, and even kids. And it’s the perfect party game since it requires no preparation or materials.

How to play

Getting started with Reverse Charades is simple! The rules are as easy as what you find in regular charades.

Playing this game requires only a group of people, a timer, and some creativity!

👉 Here’s a detailed article on how to play Reverse Charades and have some hilarious fun!

2. Running Charades

For a more physical version of the classic game, try Running Charades. This version is similar to regular charades — except you run around instead of staying in one spot!

FAQ about Charades

1. How do you explain charades?

Charades is a game of clues in which one person acts out a word or phrase while the others guess what they are trying to say. The actor can’t talk but can use body language, facial expressions, and gestures to act out the word or phrase.

This classic game is great for family game nights, parties, or even as an icebreaker at work. It encourages creativity and collaboration — plus, it’s a lot of fun.

2. Why do they call it charades?

The term “charades” is thought to have been borrowed from the French phrase “charrade,” which translates to “a type of riddle.” This suggests that the game has a long history and likely originated in France.

Today, however, it’s a popular game around the world — and one that’s perfect for any occasion. Charades will surely be a hit whether you’re having a family game night or hosting a party!

3. What are the benefits of playing charades?

Charades is a great game for all ages and offers plenty of benefits. Here are some reasons why charades can be beneficial to your family, friends, or coworkers:

1. Improves communication skills: Charades encourages players to think critically and express themselves without using words. This helps them build better communication skills.

2. Encourages creative thinking: Players need to be creative to come up with clues and act them out. This helps them develop creative and problem-solving skills.

3. Develops teamwork: Charades encourages collaboration and teamwork, making it an excellent game for team-building activities.

4. Fun for everyone: This classic game is fun for all ages — and it’s the perfect way to break the ice at any get-together. Plus, it doesn’t require any preparation or materials!

4. What are good charades words?

If you’re looking for good charade words, plenty of classic options exist! You can find the best words and phrases for charades in this article.

5. How do you show words in charades?

When it comes to showing words in charades, the goal is to act out the word or phrase without using any words. This means using body language, facial expressions, and gestures.

For example, if you were trying to act out the phrase “chocolate cake,” you might take a pretend bite of the cake, rub your tummy in delight, and then smile.

If you want to make things more challenging, you can also act out the meaning of the word or phrase instead of trying to represent it directly. So for “chocolate cake,” you might dance around joyfully and use your hands to mimic the shape of a cake — without actually taking a bite!

6. What is prohibited when you play charades?

Playing charades should be about having fun, but some essential rules still need to be followed. Here are some things that are prohibited when playing charades:

  1. No speaking: This is a given — the actor should not use any words while acting out the word or phrase.
  2. No writing: Writing is not allowed to communicate your word or phrase.
  3. No sound effects: This one is tricky, as it can be hard to avoid making sound effects while acting out the word or phrase. However, they should be avoided if possible.
  4. No using props: Although you can use your hands and body to act out the word or phrase, no props should be used. This includes items like hats and scarves.
  5. No asking for hints: Asking for hints can take away from the challenge of the game. If players need help, they should ask their teammates to give them clues without spelling out the answer.
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